MANILA (UPDATED) — As community pantries continue to sprout across the country, companies pitch in to help give aid to those in need.
Employees of shipping company J&T Express opened a stall in its Muntinlupa branch at 37 National Highway, Barangay Putatan to join the cause.
"Many Filipinos are grappling to survive during this pandemic. J&T Express believes that during these challenging times, it is important to stand strong and help one another,” J&T Philippines Vice President Zoe Chi said.
"We are very fortunate to work at J&T. Our income can support our families, but we are also worried about families who have lost their income due to the epidemic, so we organized this community pantry event to distribute food for free," its regional key accounts manager Ella Opeda added.
Loaves of bread from Gardenia were also donated to a community pantry in Los Baños, Laguna which helped replenish the goods in the stall.
Gardenia's customer relations staff confirmed to ABS-CBN News that the company has donated 200 loaves of bread for the community.
In a Facebook post, Nancy Cabrera Florentino shared that they were already running out of goods before the truck of bread arrived.
Shell, through its mobility stations, meanwhile set up food banks, said Randy Del Valle, Vice President and General Manager Retail, Executive Board Director - Pilipinas Shell at Shell.
"These would include some grocery items and fresh vegetables from urban gardens of our service champions. Even our customer who were moved on this initiative also willingly add to the display."
Canva Philippines also offered free printing services and designs to community pantries in need of signages.
“Sa mga nangangailangan ng tulong upang makapagsimula ng kanilang #CommunityPantry, may inihanda kaming mga signages na pwede ninyong magamit … Para naman sa mga nangangailangan ng tulong sa pag-print ng signages, kami ay handang mag-print at mag-deliver ng libre,” it said in a tweet.
(For those who need help to start their #CommunityPantry, we have prepared signages that you can use… For those who need help printing signages, we are ready to print and deliver for free.)
“Tuloy ang tulungan. Maraming salamat po sa mga nagtataguyod ng mga community pantries. Saludo po kami sa inyo!”
(Continue to help. Many thanks to those who promote community pantries. We salute you!)
A community pantry in Sucat, Muntinlupa also received load cards and good from telecommunications company Globe.
Gelin Jin Ollet told ABS-CBN News that she received a text message from a delivery rider that a package will arrive.
She added that they were overwhelmed by the support that companies are giving despite having a small community pantry.
“Sobrang overwhelming. Kumbaga sunod-sunod ‘yung dating kaya overwhelming talaga. And na-touch ako sa (kanila) kasi big corporation sila na parang ‘di mo ie-expect na maghe-help sila sa ganitong small pantry,” she told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
(So overwhelming. We are touched that even is they are a big corporation, they are extending help to a small pantry like ours.)
Globe SVP for Corporate Communications and Chief Sustainability Officer Yoly Crisanto said that they are hoping that their small acts of kindness will bring the bayanihan spirit alive amid the pandemic.
"Our nation is currently facing great challenges owing to the continued surge of the pandemic. As a good corporate citizen, we take on the responsibility of helping our customers and their communities to alleviate the impact of this pandemic," Crisanto said.
“We hope that these small acts of kindness from us, along with many other citizens and organizations will bring hope to our fellow Filipinos that our bayanihan spirit is alive and together as a force of good, we will overcome this crisis,” Crisanto also said.
The pioneer community pantry led by initiator Ana Patricia Non also reopened the stall in Maginhawa to the public after halting its operations for a day.
In an interview, Non said that community pantries will continue to serve as long as there are willing donors.
From one community pantry in Maginhawa Street, Quezon City, there are now more than 350 stalls built by various groups nationwide, she said.